Those in search of a new meaning to dance, in a changing world seeded Modern Dance. Dancers wanted to achieve the changing pace of other art forms during this time of transformation, when America was waking up culturally. Modern dance according to Walter Sorell:.
Is not so much a system as a state of mind, flexing its individual muscles, stressing its personal artistic dream. What seemed to be a weakness of the new movement was, at the same time its natural forte; the excess of individual expression. (388).
Modern Dance began in the late 1800's and early 1900's. It came directly as a revolt, to what was understood as the "restrictions" of ballet. Isadora Duncan was credited as the first dancer to present modern dancing. Duncan's reasons for creating and moving were different from others. .
The development of modern dance has given dancers the right of passage in the form of freedom to expression in an artistic manner, and that has accrued to its development and growth in the present time.
The major contributors that we have focused upon in class such as Isadora Duncan, Denishawn, and Martha Graham have allowed dance to survive and continue to be reinvented through out time. Many historians say that Isadora Duncan was the first dancer to present "modern dancing" to the public. Duncan felt that the pointe shoes and costumes that ballerinas wore where restrictive. She began to dance in a way that seemed more natural to her. Her inspirations came from the movements of trees, the ocean and other forms of nature. Her techniques included hopping, swaying, skipping, and running. She felt these types of movements where natural and expressive. Also, the history of the Greeks inspired her to dance barefoot and wear tunics similar to those of Greek style. Most Americans knew her as a rebel. She found fame in parts of Europe and Russia. You could call Duncan the "Mother of Modern Dance"; she proved that dance could be a form of liberation.